Saturday, February 16, 2013

Valuable Lessons I've Learned From Video Games

Some may say that gaming is mindless entertainment, but I'm here today to tell you that there are actually many lessons to be learned if you look hard enough.  Here's a few that I've learned.  

Law Enforcement Officers Are My Enemies

Sure, there are games out there where you play a character that never breaks the law.  In my experience, though, those games aren't usually quite as thrilling.  In the Assassin's Creed games, you're obviously an assassin and therefore guards are always trying to catch you.  In Skyrim, there are many quests that require you to break some law, so you have to do it while the guards aren't watching.  Even in the Nancy Drew games (Danger By Design specifically comes to mind), Nancy has to trespass to solve the mystery, avoiding police all the while.  Even the guards in Baldur's Gate can be pretty annoying, and they just keep you from sleeping out in the streets.  The list goes on and on.

But I have a quest here!

Be Cautious Around Wildlife

The common Mudcrab, slightly less dangerous than a pack of wolves.


Ah, wild animals.  You can bet that you'll be attacked by some in almost any RPG.  Wolves, bears, dragons, boars, and even crabs.  Yes, crabs.  I can't count the number of times I would be running along a lovely river in Skyrim when suddenly a crab would leap at me.  There was also a part of Neverwinter Nights that even the deer would attack you.  Deer!  So remember that wild animals are dangerous, even the herbivores. 

People Like Following Me

Most RPG's are party-based, meaning that you have a few buddies following you around, helping you out.  I admit that I'm more of a follower than a leader in real life, but the characters I play in video games are always leaders.  This is obviously done so that you, as a player, get to decide what to do, but it's not very realistic.  Maybe it's because I'm not an adventurer like the characters I play in games, but I think that if I asked a few of my friends to follow me around for a few hours to go rescue someone or kill bandits, they'd probably say no.  

Just Because He's Old, Doesn't Mean He Can't Fight

Jolee Bindo

Games are full of great characters that are a lot stronger than their age would suggest.  Jolee Bindo of Knights of the Old Republic, Wynne of Dragon Age: Origins, Mordin of Mass Effect 2 (He's only thirty something, but considered elderly for his species because the average age is 40), and Master Li of Jade Empire are just a few.  This doesn't mean that all senior citizens are black belts, but it's something to think about.  

I Should Be Able to Carry Lots of Stuff Around

This is what an average RPG inventory looks like:

 This is what an average RPG character looks like: 

No backpack?  How does that work?

According to most games, I should be able to carry a whole armory and food for a week around on my person without even filling my pockets.  Unfortunately, my real life pockets aren't bigger on the inside and I'd probably get a lot of strange looks carrying all that sort of stuff around.

Never Get Involved in a Duel to the Death

They're really difficult.  Oh, and illegal in most countries.  

Duels in RPG's can be really interesting, as they're often used as a dramatic turning point in the story.  A lot is at stake, and you as the main character have to make sure to win.  However, they can also be crazy hard because you've spent the whole rest of the game finding a group that works together and now you're going solo.  I remember having to re-load Neverwinter Nights 2 several times because I kept on losing a duel, and the one-on-one fight in Dragon Age 2 went about like this for me.

Yep, a lot of running around. Real "romantic".

So there you have it, lessons that I've learned from my experience in gaming. See? Any video game can be educational.

Enjoyed this list or have a "lesson" to add? Comment below!

P.S. I recently joined Pinterest and have been having a ball with it. You can follow me by clicking the button at the top of the right-hand column.



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